Saturday, January 31, 2009

Outstanding Yak Refrigerator Cleaner

**Ominous Beginnings
Sometimes it really sucks being right about something. Even though I was betting that Sheri would end up with a migraine when she went out for the day with Donna, I was hoping it wouldn't happen. And apparently, her day went well until the car ride home. Staring into the setting sun would tend to be aggravating for anyone, much less someone prone to migraines. And, lo and behold, even though she was in good spirits when she got home, as the evening wore on, it was obvious that a migraine was settling in. The odd part about this time was that instead of being stubborn for no practical reason and trying to stay up, she actually took her medication and went to bed. And then slept for 12 hours straight. Should have known that was an indicator of some kind for what was to come.

**Tis a Silly Place
We woke up to a bitterly cold Sunday morning with her a little fuzzy around the edges, but otherwise pretty much ready to go. After gassing up the car and liberating some fundage from the bank, we grabbed our tickets to the show, directions to where we wanted to go, and snacks for the road and began droning east on I-88. The plan was pretty much to go east until we were 2 blocks from the lake and hang a right. Simple, right? Should have been, but between her suffering from the lingering effects of her migraine, and me having my usual anxiety about driving with all the psychos on the interstate, a couple spats occurred, and a turn or two was missed. Not that there was any great problem that arose from either of those events, it just tends to happen when we travel. We still ended up right about a block from the theater, as planned, with about a half an hour before the show, also as planned. And that was a freakin cold block to walk, I tell you.
I had never been to this particular theater before, but I wasn't too impressed with the way the icy wind would blow through the lobby each and every time someone came in any one of the multiple doors that opened out onto the street. I also found it odd that the building seemed to be settling at a lot of slight, but differing, angles.
Our seats were in the first balcony of what I would call a classic old theater. It was one of those balconies where when you step out of the little hallway leading to the seats and it seems like the aisle slopes downward away from you at like an 85 degree angle. Made me feel like if I was to trip that momentum and gravity would cause me to roll and bounce down the aisle, over the railing, and onto the main floor 23,652 feet below.
Our seats weren't really that bad, and the slight sense of vertigo dissipated once we sat down. We were just to the left of center, about six rows from the rail. View to the stage was good, but it still would have been nice to have some opera glasses, as it was really hard to scope out which dancer was the cutest from where we were. The show was great and somehow managed to incorporate just about all the classic bits from the film. My only complaint was what I perceived of as a slight lack of scantily clad dancing girls. The French taunters just seemed like they were just having waaaaay too much fun. The disco number had me laughing so hard I was crying. I don't think I would mind seeing the whole thing again. However, I fart in the general direction of Wicked.

**Now, That Is One Big Ku!
Once the show was over, it was once more out into the damned cold to get into the car and head north in search of Polynesia. And we managed to find it on north State street. Trader Vic's, one of the originators of the whole tiki/Hawaiian movement in the states, has opened in it's new location. I was so geeking out. Never mind that when we got in the door the first two things I saw were a Hawaiian tiki that had to have been 10 feet tall, and a rather stunning hostess. I was afraid that my head was simply going to start spinning in circles until it popped off. I had found one corner of Nirvana.
The dining room had not yet opened when we arrived, so we were seated in the bar area, where I found that everything in the area simply needed to be looked at and/or touched. Only the former was applied to the hostess, while both were used on just about everything in arm's reach. It was a slice of classic tiki heaven. A bit on the upscale side, not too heavy on the kitsch, but nicely done and very comfortable. Huge tiki statues around every corner and bamboo and tapa cloth on nearly every surface. Unfortunately, the dim lighting made it basically impossible to get and good pictures. But Larry was thrilled to meet some of his distant cousins. Larry also proved to be just interesting enough to draw the attention of the lovely hostess. Turns out she is not only native Hawaiian, she has two degrees. Wow. It was rather hard to not spontaneously drool. I did give her my card, though. It may not have been completely drool-free.
For the dinner part of the evening, I opted for the roasted vegetable curry, while Sheri chose the duck breast. Everything was delicious, right down to the fortune cookies and chocolates that appeared with the check. So, stuffed with yummy food, hopped up on coffee, visually overloaded, and really not wanting to leave, it was back out into the viciously cold night. I had managed to get away not only with leftovers, but a drink menu, a bar coaster, a swizzle stick, and a business card. All were things not nailed down in any substantial manner. Sheri simply would not agree to making a distraction whilst I made off with one of the large tikis, however. Not to mention that would have been the hernia heard round the world had I even attempted such a feat. So, with a last glance over my shoulder, this vision of urban Polynesia disappeared from sight, and my dream hostess with it. But, as the Arctic wind blasted through my clothes, I was sure of two things. Number one being that I knew I would return. Number two being that I was sure I had displayed a ridiculous amount of enthusiasm for the place and what it stood for. Furthermore, I couldn't care in the least.

**A Case Of The Mondays??
0600 Monday morning is when the dogs decided it would be a good time to go outside. I was not pleased with this decision. Sheri obligingly swung out of bed, shrugged on her robe, and after the briefest of pauses, made a stumbling dash for her bathroom, hand clamped over mouth. The next thing I heard was not at all what I had hoped to be hearing at that moment. To simplify the next six hours, and to spare you, dear reader, let's just say that she under went an extended and enthusiastic digestive system purge from both available orifices. Not good. Not good for a normal person, but really not good for a diabetic. By noon I was quite concerned with the situation, and was trying to decide if a visit to the ER was in order. Her blood sugar was normal, but nothing had gone into her system and stayed except for a few bits of crushed ice. I had two hours to figure out what to do before I was supposed to start getting ready for work.
It was when she started complaining of leg cramps that I pretty much decided that it was time to take her in to get checked out. And I know she was feeling totally awful, because she didn't even try to fight the idea. I called in to work, and then it was into the car and off to the hospital. After what seemed to be a long wait to be seen by the doctor, the day proceeded to get even longer. In the end, the score ended up being 1 bad IV start, 1 restick for a second IV, 2 liters of fluid onboard before she even had the slightest need to pee, 1 diagnosis of gastritis, and a heart rate that never got below 125 in 8 hours.
By the time 10PM rolled around, Sheri was near desperate to go home. She had finished her second bag of IV fluids, but her pulse hadn't gone down much at all. After having me assist her in removing the IV, the doctor came in to see her one last time. She must have sensed how fruitless it would have been to try and get her to stay, because she checked her pulse one last time and discharged her, telling her to follow up with her regular physician.
The next day, Sheri saw her normal doctor, who confirmed what we had already thought: the most likely cause was food poisoning. This was a bit odd, since we had basically shared pretty much all that we had eaten for the past two days. That pointed the finger in the general area of the duck from Trader Vic's, which I had only tried one piece of, and the vegetables that came with it, which I had none of. Whatever it was, it hit her and her alone. As much as I don't want to think it was the food from Trader Vic's, it does seem to be the leading contender. The increased heart rate had no good explanation.

**WARNING: Do Not Ignite And Insert Sideways Into Rectum!!
People are stupid and they aggravate me. Art should not come with warning labels. Chainsaws, maybe, and ninjas definitely, but not art. It was recently pointed out to me by someone who also lives in my house, that the tiki I'm donating for the charity auction is a bit top heavy. I knew this. Most of the time when I had it on display, it was leaned against a wall at a slight angle. Not that it won't stand on it's own, but it could be knocked over fairly easily when standing free. So, the question that came up was how I intended to address this situation. My rather simplistic answer was that I hadn't intended to address it at all. It was then pointed out to me that my creation was indeed capable of crushing small humanoids, should they happen to be in the way when it decided to lay down. I had to admit this was indeed a possibility. The issue of insuring a decent presentation at the auction also came up. The most obvious solution, in my opinion, was simply 'caveat emptor'. This was not agreed upon in the least. The opposing position was a stand or brace of some kind to reduce the issue of possible topplage. The idea of making some kind of permanent mount for it rubs me raw to no end. Should whomever buys it wish to do so, that would then be their prerogative, but I don't want to do it myself. But I do want it to show well and be sold for lots and lots and lots of money. Therefore, I may have to grudgingly devise some type of prop or stand. I may also do so out of a very slight want to not be responsible for any crushed munchkins. But dammit, I'm not gonna be happy about it.

**You know it's been too damn cold when 30 degrees feels like summer.

**Electronic Museum
My insurance agent had suggested quite a while ago that I should catalog my collection for insurance purposes. Sounded like a good idea at the time. Then I actually started doing it, and realized what a gargantuan job it was going to be. Five years of collecting has added up to a vast amount of items in an incredible variety of sizes and values. I think I had managed to catalog and photograph 2 whole boxes of stuff, which is a very small part of the whole collection, before I gave up and moved on to things that were more entertaining to me. Now I find myself revisiting the idea with the thought of moving just such a photo gallery online. The critical point would become finding somewhere that would basically let me have unlimited storage space, 'cause I got a lot of stuff to take pictures of. Guess I'll have to do some research on my week off. I should probably figure out how to take decent pictures, too. Might also be a good way for people to have some vague idea of just what the hell it is I collect. And there is the added possible side effect of potentially making other collectors jealous.

**Who waits almost a week to eat candy they're given? Seriously??

**I thought I had found the next stock piece that I was going to carve, but I may be taking on a commission piece, should I be able to figure out how to do it.

**Hope Kittyluv is feeling a bit better now. Honk!

**Doesn't look like I'll be going anywhere too far from home during my week off, and as usual, mountains of paperwork hunker silently in the office, awaiting my attention. The creeping mounds of clutter in the studio could stand to be beaten back a tad, as well. And I can but hope that much art will be done.

**Game On?
I'm hoping to get at least one game night in over my break, if not a couple. Got a couple of people interested, so it's looking good for at least one session. I need to touch base with Forrest and see what he's got going on. I can probably drag Big Bri out, as long as it isn't Thursday.

**Sharpie + post its + person overly attached to their car = great mischief potential. How can I resist?

**Squeeze Time
Not one, not two, but three awesome hotties were kind enough to gift me with multiple enthusiastic hugs this week. Mmmmm, makes me feel tingly all over.

**Why the hell the scrub bucket was where it was, I have no idea.

**Holy express elevator to hell, Batman! My 410k value has nosedived big time in the last quarter.

**A care package will soon be on it's way to IN. Hopefully it will find it's way through all the snow and past the censorship board.

**T-Shirt Philosophy
One of my purchases from the show was a T-shirt. I bought it because I found it amusing, but the depth of it sunk in for me later, and I can only wonder how intentional that may have been. On this simple black shirt, in rather plain white lettering it says, quite simply, "I'm not dead yet". Funny in the context of the show and movie, and yet strangely resonant for me on a completely different level. Time to get up, get going, and kick some ass. Why? Because I'm not dead yet.

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